DOBSON — Dobson Square Park was filled with people enjoying carnival rides and other attractions Saturday afternoon, when the only game in town at times seemed to be playing cat and mouse with the weather.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” Misty Marion, coordinator of the annual Spring Folly, said as the event was unfolding in the Surry County seat to conclude its two-day run.
“You can’t control the weather, so you just have to go with the flow,” added Marion, who is Dobson’s town clerk and municipal services manager.
Stormy forecasts across the region Saturday — punctuated by dark clouds looming overhead — didn’t deter the throngs filling the Dobson park for a sixth-annual spring celebration that had the feel of a county fair in fall.
Carnival rides were added to the Spring Folly last year and proved so popular they were continued this year, with R&D Amusements from Lincoln County as the provider. The company brought seven different rides to the event, including a Ferris wheel for small kids, swings and one called Tubs of Fun. Bounce houses and slides also were part of the scene.
About 25 different vendors were stationed nearby, offering everything from the usual funnel cake fare to candy apples and much in between, along with decorative purses, clothes and other items.
Although attendance seemed pretty hefty Saturday afternoon — dominated by families with small children lured by the offer of $10 armbands good for unlimited rides — it might have been better.
“I think the numbers are down a little just because of the weather,” Marion said in comparison with 2016, when attendance was put at 4,000 for the festival’s two days.
This year’s Spring Folly included an expansion of its Friday schedule by two hours, but Mother Nature had her plan, too.
“Yesterday we had to close out a little early, but today has been great,” Marion said Saturday.
Yet she was philosophical about the situation, pointing out that this weekend was the first time the Spring Folly was ever threatened by bad weather.
“We’ve been real lucky, honestly.”
One of the Spring Folly vendors, Monica Smith of Ninja Zone in King, a business involved with a new sport that combines gymnastics, martial arts, obstacle course training and breakdancing, was pleased with her participation there.
“It’s been a lot busier today than it was yesterday,” Smith said Saturday afternoon.
“There’s been a great turnout today,” she added, with people signing up for Ninja Zone memberships and inquiring about its gym in King.
Meanwhile, local resident Hank Snow said he was having a lot of fun at the event he was attending with family members.
“I think it’s great,” said Snow, who attends the Spring Folly every year and is pleased with the way in which it has evolved over time— especially the addition of carnival rides last year.
Snow said he appreciates town officials holding the gathering to allow people to come out and enjoy themselves.
“It’s a pretty good thing for the community,” he observed.
“It’s a Norman Rockwell kind of thing.”
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.